Unstable continuous spectrum in magnetohydrodynamics

Eliezer Hameiri, James H. Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The continuous spectrum need not be stable for an equilibrium with flow. The case of a noncircular, rotating θ pinch is shown to have an unstable continuum with the instability interpreted as a parametric instability arising from coupling between the rotation frequency and the plasma wave frequencies. On the other hand, equilibria with sub-Alfvénic flow parallel to the magnetic field in incompressible plasmas, as well as static equilibria, have a stable continuum. A formulation to determine the continuous spectrum is given in terms of characteristic surfaces for the equations and does not involve the use of any particular system of coordinates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1700-1706
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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